Daily World News Digest, 22 December 2017

Steep rise in abductions in Chechnya

Citing his oversight of “an administration involved in disappearances and extrajudicial killings,” the US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov. Over the past two years, Russian rights organizations have registered a steady increase in the number of Chechens detained or abducted by security personnel, many of whom subsequently disappeared without trace. In January 2016, Memorial reported that at least 24 people had been apprehended during the previous three months, one of whom had since been found dead. Two months ago, the news portal Caucasian Knot estimated that no fewer than 43 people had been reported missing by their families in Chechnya since the start of the year. A further seven abductions were reported in late November. http://bit.ly/2CWZwmc

Myanmar military to investigate mass grave

The Myanmar military has announced that its own investigation team will find out whether security forces were involved in the case of unidentified bodies unearthed in the village of Inn Din in Rakhine State. On Tuesday, the military reported on its Facebook page that security members had found the mass grave at Inn Din cemetery while investigating an anonymous tip. According to local authorities, 10 sets of human remains were unearthed at the burial site. The military said in its announcement that deterrent action in accord with the law would be taken against any security member found to be connected with the case. http://bit.ly/2kX5YlE

Were detained Myanmar reporters investigating mass grave?

The arrest in Myanmar of two Reuters journalists, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo, could be connected to the announcement this week by the military that it is investigating a mass grave found in a village called Inn din, the BBC reported. Inn Din was a mixed community, where the human rights group Amnesty International documented an attack on Rohingya inhabitants by security forces in late August. A local newspaper has now reported that three days after the Reuters reporters were arrested, five ethnic Rakhine residents of Inn Din were detained on suspicion of giving information about what happened in their village to journalists. http://bbc.in/2BjUfF1

Egypt rejects allegations of enforced disappearances

Egypt’s Minister of Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Omar Marwan has rejected allegations of enforced disappearances in the country, insisting that no one is in prison in Egypt without a judicial verdict. He said investigations have shown that “most of the names reported to have disappeared forcibly are in prison for different reasons, including carrying out judicial verdicts or alleged involvement with illegal migration or terrorist acts.” http://bit.ly/2C0bWwZ 

Mass grave found in Libya’s Sirte

Security agencies in the Libyan city of Sirte on Thursday found a mass grave containing dozens of bodies, an official said. The bodies are believed to be of Islamic State (IS) militants. Al-Manara, the district where the bodies were discovered, was one of the last IS-held strongholds during its war against the government forces in 2015. In December 2015, forces allied with UN-backed Libyan government defeated IS affiliates and expelled them from Sirte, some 450 km east of the capital Tripoli. http://bit.ly/2kXQnCr 

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff. These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.